June 4, 2014 - Attorney Steven J. Topazio
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June 4, 2014

The client was charged with malicious destruction of property over $250, when he was caught on surveillance video keying a motor vehicle.  Malicious Destruction of Property is a felony, carrying a potential penalty of 2 ½ years in jail or 10 years in State Prison and a fine the greater of $3000 or three times the value of the property so destroyed.  Attorney Topazio obtained copies of the surveillance videos and spoke with the security officer during the course of his preparation of the case.  According to police, the client was observed driving a black Mercedes after being observed keying another motor vehicle but police were unable to get a license plate of the client’s vehicle.  The police alleged that the client was identified through the use of an EBT card for a purchase he made prior to having his image captured on video.  In the course of discovery of the case, Attorney Topazio obtained several digital photos from the prosecutor of an individual purportedly of his client.  As a result of the evidence in the case, Attorney Steven J. Topazio prepared several motions in limine in preparation for trial.  A motion in limine is a written motion to the judge in the case, requesting that the judge rule that certain testimony regarding evidence should be excluded.  The case proceeded to trial.  After 2 days of jury deliberation, the jury reported that they were deadlocked and could not return a verdict.  In this situation, Attorney Topazio agreed with the court to give the jury a “Tuey – Rodriguez” charge which prompts the jury to keep deliberating to reach a unanimous verdict.  After the charge, the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.